This week, we will study Nehemiah. After Israel disobeyed God, they had been punished by being carried into captivity and having cities destroyed. Nehemiah was responsible for helping to rebuild Jerusalem. The full story is found in the book of Nehemiah. Some of the key points we will study are:
- Nehemiah had concern for God’s family.
- Nehemiah prayed and acted upon his concerns.
- Nehemiah didn’t allow others to discourage him. He listened to God.
- Nehemiah asked God to help him.
- Nehemiah repaired the wall like Jesus came to repair our relationship with God.
Nehemiah Lesson Guide
Explain that the Israelites had disobeyed God and that God had punished them by allowing another country to conquer them. Talk about how the Israelites had been carried far away from their homes to live in another country and serve the people there. Think about some faraway lands and look at pictures. Discuss how hard it might be to live there.
Share how Nehemiah has an important job working for the king as his cupbearer. Explain that a cupbearer had to be trustworthy and loyal because their job was to keep the king safe. Show how Nehemiah could have remained comfortable in the king’s palace, but he had concern for God and God’s people. Think about some ways people leave their comfort to obey God and care for others.
Remind the child that all the people worked together to rebuild the wall. Talk about how, when we work together, we can accomplish more. Scatter some toys on the floor (or you can use sticks or pebbles if you are outside). Using a stopwatch time, the child picking the items up by themselves. Then scatter the items again. This time use the stopwatch to track how long it takes when everyone works together.
Talk about how Nehemiah prayed and asked God to help him. Read Philippians 4:6 together (you may also choose to begin memorizing the verse together). Talk about how we shouldn’t worry but should pray. Point out that the verse also says to thank God. Make a list of some prayer requests you might have and some praises. If the child is too young to read or write, you can create drawings together to represent your prayers and praises.
Explain that Nehemiah did not let others discourage him from doing the right thing. Talk about how sometimes people will be mean or try to get us to do bad things or not do good things, but that we need to follow what God says in the Bible.
Explain that in Nehemiah’s day, the way they defended their cities was to build big, strong walls around them. Talk about how the other army had destroyed Jerusalem’s walls. You can create a small walled city out of blocks, Legos, or other stackable objects. Talk about how the wall kept people secure. Knock down the wall and explain that the houses aren’t safe anymore, because there is no protection around them. As you talk about Nehemiah, you can begin to rebuild the wall that you destroyed.
Explain that just like the wall, sin destroys our relationship with God. Discuss some of the ways that people can sin (be sure to keep this relatable to the child’s age). Talk about how Jesus came to repair our relationship with God.
Pray and ask Jesus to repair your relationships with Him. Bring out the list you made of prayer requests and praises and add them to your prayer. Thank God that He has provided a way to rebuild our relationship with God.
Printable short Bible story
Free printable Bible story of Nehemiah . Ideal to use a bedtime story or lesson review
Games and Activities
Building Block walls
Use building blocks (or household objects) to build a wall around an object.
Next, ask your child to knock down some of the walls. You could use toys to be the enemy and knock it down.
Help your child to repair the wall. Make sure to talk about the account of Nehemiah as you do so. Talk about how Nehemiah must have felt.
Race to the Gates
There are several gates mentioned in chapter 3 of Nehemiah. For this game, we will use four of them (there is a printable page included in the lesson). Sheep, Horse, Fish, and Fountain.
If you want to add more gates to make the game more difficult, feel free.
Print out the page with pictures that represent the gates. When you call out the gate, your child/children must rush to that gate.
Learn about some distant land
For pre-schoolers, even the next city can seem a long way away. Help your child to learn that Nehemiah was in a distant land.
You can look online at photos of Susa, which is in modern-day Iran. Find in on a map and show how far Nehemiah had to travel.
You could also learn about a culture different from your own. Find some information online or at the local library. Visit a restaurant serving from another culture. Visit a family who has moved from another country.
Bible Coloring Pages
Silver Goblet Bible Craft
Help children learn about Nehemiah’s role as cup-bearing to the king with this easy to make craft.
What you need:
- Paper or plastic cup
- Thick card
- Tape or glue
- Aluminum foil
- Craft jewels or paper
What to do:
- Trace around the top of a paper cup onto some thick card. Cut out the circle.
- Tape or glue a small cardboard tube between the circle and paper cup.
- Wrap everything in aluminum foil.
- Decorate the cup with jewels or colored paper.